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Two-One-Two Zone

2-1-2 Zone

The 2-1-2 zone is a variation of the 2-3 zone defense. Whereas, the 2-3 zone is flat, protecting the baseline and corners, the 2-1-2 is a very compact zone protecting the middle. With, normally, an athletic defender playing the middle position, it allows the "Bigs" to be aligned on the blocks near the basket providing for strong rebounding. Because of its compact design, the 2-1-2 zone is susceptible to good outside shooting. Therefore, it is mainly used against poor outside shooting teams or to match up against a high post offense such as a 1-3-1 offensive alignment.

The middle person of the 2-1-2 is very active covering the high post when the ball is out in front and fronting the low post when the ball is on the wing or in the corner. Played to extreme, the 2-1-2 zone can be played with defenders having at least one foot in the "Paint" at all times.

2-1-2 Zone Shifts

Ball on wing

Home - Ball in the Middle

Defender X1 is on ball and X2 is at the elbow. Defenders X3, X4, and X5 are above the block with X5 in front of the basket and X3 & X4 are positioned outside the three second area on the baseline.

Ball at Point

Ball on Left Wing

Defender X2 is on ball, X1 moves to ballside elbow, X4 moves out towards the corner, X5 maintains a position between ball and basket, and X3 establishes a weakside rebounding position.

Ball in Corner

Ball in Left Corner

X4 on ball, X5 covers low post area, X3maintains a strong weakside rebounding position on baseline, X2 cuts off pass out of corner and X1 defends the high post area.

Ball on Wing

Ball on Right Wing

Defender X1 is on ball, X2 moves across to the elbow protecting the high post area. X3 steps out towards the corner, X5 maintains a position between ball and basket, and X4 assumes a weakside rebounding position.

Ball in Corner

Ball in Right Corner

Defender X3 is on ball, X5 covers low post area, X4 maintains a strong weakside rebounding position, X1 cuts off pass out of corner and X2 defends the high post area.

Ball in Middle

Ball In the Middle

When the ball is passed into the middle, defender X5 steps up jams the ballhandler forcing them toward a corner pushpoint. Outside defenders X1 and X2 collapse on to O5, while baseline defenders X4 & X5 collapse to the blocks protecting the basket area against "High/Low" post pass action.

 


2-1-2 Zone Shifts by Position

Ball in Corner
Ball in Corner
X2 denies return pass and X1 covers "Elbow" area

Outside Shifts

Strong Pass Denial
Ball in Corner
X1 denies return pass and X2 covers "Elbow" area

Baseline Corner
Ball on Wing
X2 on ball and X1 covers "Elbow" area

Strong Pass Denial
Ball Out Front
X1 or X2 takes ball forcing ball away from chaser's side

Strong Pass Denial
Ball on Wing
X1 on ball and X2 covers "Elbow" area

Since the two outside defenders must move in unison and cover sideline to sideline. As a result, these two defenders are normally a team's quickest players.

 


post shift
Ball in Corner
X5 3/4 denies post on baseline side

Post Shifts

post shift
Ball in Corner
X5 3/4 denies post on baseline side

post shift
Ball on Wing
X5 fonts low post area

post shift
Ball Out Front
X5 assumes a position in front of the basket

post shift
Ball on Wing
X5 fonts low post area

The post is responsible for guarding the low post area maintianing a defensive position between the ball and the basket. This role is usually given to an aggressive, athletic player which can be very effective against a good post player.

 


base shifts
Ball in Corner
X4 on ball and X3 assumes a weakside rebounding position

Baseline Shifts

base shifts
Ball in Corner
X3 on ball and X4 maintains a strong weakside rebounding position

base shifts
Ball on Wing
X4 moves out toward corner and X3 assumes a weakside rebounding positon

base shifts
Ball Out Front
X3 and X4 assume positions outside the three second area above the blocks

base shifts
Ball on Wing
X3 moves out toward corner and X4 assumes a weakside rebounding positon

In the 2-1-1 Zone, the two baseline players work opposite. Since one assumes a weakside rebounding position at all times, they should be highly skill defensive rebounders.

Learn More Adjustments & Variations

 

 

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